The leaves, they are a changin,’ so get outdoors and get leaf-peeping before all that magical color disappears. Gorgeous fall foliage abounds all across North America, so if you’re up for a road trip, enlist your favorite travel companions to embark on an autumn adventure. You might want to hike or bike or simply sample seasonal ciders and beers at local fall festivals. No matter the choice, it’s all good. So what are you waiting for? Not sure where to go? Here are some magnificent, scenic spots to consider
Green Mountain Byway, Vermont
This eleven-mile route through Vermont is considered one of the most dazzling displays of fall foliage in New England, thanks to the brilliant maple, birch, and beech trees lining the road. The spectacular drive takes you from the charming town of Waterbury—home of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (yum!)—to striking Stowe—a highly renowned ski resort in the Northeast. And everything in between—three state parks and two national forests—is just as wicked vibrant. Come see for yourself.
The Catskills, New York
The six thousand square miles in southeastern New York boasts thirty-five mountain peaks and six major river systems—all especially gorgeous in the fall. The Catskills come alive in October with wooded hillsides blanketed in reds, oranges, and yellows, as well as, lively harvest festivals and bountiful farmers’ markets. Right now in these parts, it’s all about fall.
The Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina & Tennessee
There are over a hundred species of native trees in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is why it’s one of the most visited parks in the U.S. Now imagine all of those leaves from all of those trees changing into their seasonal best. Wow. With eight hundred miles of scenic roads and hiking trails to explore, prepare to be gobsmacked for a while.
Okay, this world-famous town is named after the quintessential Colorado tree, so you know the extraordinary specimen is going to be extra-spectacular in the fall. Aspen leaves turn a brilliant gold that gleams in the sunlight among the dark evergreens nearby. Spectacular. Just when you thought this ritzy ski resort couldn’t get any better, right? Even their offseason is ongoing for nature lovers.
Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
For eighty-miles, the Columbia River Gorge cuts right through the Cascade Mountains, forming a natural border between Washington and Oregon. So your leaf-peeping experience is upgraded with majestic waterfalls, dramatic river gorges, and fantastic wineries. You can drive, hike, bike, raft, or kayak your way through the breathtaking terrain. And then treat yourself to a glass—or more—of wine from the Willamette Valley, where even the grape vines in reds and yellows look their seasonal best.
Glacier National Park, Montana
For the true outdoor adventurer, this park is a primo fall foliage destination. At the end of September, the park concessions close for the season, so you pretty much have the entire park to yourself to enjoy the beauty of the numerous, golden larch trees and evergreens. Now add the massive, snow-covered peaks of the Continental Divide as the backdrop—and maybe an elk in the foreground. Click. It’s considered one of the most dramatic autumn scenes in the U.S.—a real eye-opening experience.
Niagara Parkway, Ontario
Winston Churchill once called the historic Niagara Parkway “the prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world.” The winding roads follow the Niagara River, which divides the U.S. and Canada. The most magnificent colors can be found in early October between the small towns of Queenston and Niagara on the Lake.
The Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
Cape Breton Island is internationally recognized as one of the world’s most scenic drives, especially in the fall. As you travel along the coast, you’re sure to see expansive views of the Atlantic, wildlife and a mixture of beaches, headlands and lush valleys filled with orange, red and gold leaves.
Now get going before all this magnificence drops to the ground and decays!